Contributors to Core77 always amaze with their 1 hour design challenges (now bigger and better at 90 minutes!). The latest challenge was to imagine "What will reading look in the future? Will we be using printed books, rectangular electronic devices, embedded technologies? This competition challenges designers to envision a rich future digital reading experience, based on a defined set of design research."
A favourite was Kicker Studio's Booklight.
Kicker's Booklight rethinks where the digital data is. The classic solution for an e-book is that the data resides inside the device and comes to us up through a screen. The Booklight form factor, in contrast, is an embodiment of their rethinking: the content is projected down onto any blank book, decoupling the content from the presentation of the content.
The winner was SuperFlyer 5000 from Hot Studio, who presented- books.
Hot has a big idea a la Slow Food: bringing reading back into the media room so people can spend time together...with books. This concept reconsiders the entire reading gesture, going from hand-held/one foot away, to hands-free/10 feet away. Research participants told us that they saw books as a respite from their over-connected, screen-based lifestyles; here's an application of those digital technologies that has the potential to engage people with reading in a new way.
More at Core77, where I am constantly amazed at the talent and energy of young designers.
Two years ago they ran pretty much the same competition, with very different results. Then it was all about the object; this time around it was much more about the process.